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Minnesota Track and Field: Gophers Set for NCAA Championships

The Gophers will have ten entries at the Championships

Christopher Mitchell

The 2023 NCAA Track and Field Championships begin on Wednesday hosted by the University of Texas in Austin, and the Minnesota Gophers will have ten entrants in the field to try and bring home some hardware to Dinkytown. The Gopher men will have seven entries in the field while the Gopher women will have a trio trying to win the first NCAA Championship for the Maroon and Gold since Obsa Ali did in the 300 m steeplechase in 2018. The action begins on Wednesday with the Gophers best chance to win a title up first.

Wednesday sees the opening day of the men’s action and the opening event is the one Minnesota has the best chance of winning. The men’s hammer throw finals will kick off at 2:30 PM with Kostas Zaltos the reigning three-time Big Ten Champion and owner of the longest throw in the nation this season will look to try and snap a streak of two straight bronze medal finishes. Joining him will be fellow Gopher Jake Kubiatowicz who is not expected to see the podium.

Continuing on Wednesday will be the semifinals in five running events for the Gophers. Those will feature the 4x100 replay of Carlon Hosten, Kion Benjamin, Finn Schirmer and Devon Augustine going off at 6:32 trying to earn a spot in Friday’s final. If they do it will be the first time in program history that would occur. They currently have the #8 time in the nation this season.

The Gophers next best chance at a NCAA title goes off at 7:02 PM as Mathew Wilkinson will try and earn a spot in Friday’s final of the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Wilkinson finished in 8th place a year ago in the race and has the second fastest time in the nation this spring.

At 7:32 PM Michael Buchanan tries to earn a spot in the 110 meter hurdles final on Friday, while at 7:46 Benjamin will go in the semifinal of the 100 meters and at 844 Hosten goes in the semifinal of the 200 meters.

Thursday is the first day for the women and Minnesota will have three entrants, all featuring fifth year senior Amira Young. at 7:32 PM she will anchor the 4x100 relay team that also features Odell Frye, Lauren Hansen and Akilah Lewis. Young will compete on her own in the 100 meter semifinals at 8:46 and the 200 meter semifinals at 9:44.

On Friday the men’s finals kick off with the 4x100 at 8:02, the 3000m steeplechase at 8:24, the 10 hurdles at 8:42, the 100 meters at 8:52, and the 200 meters at 9:37. Saturday features the women’s finals in the 4x100 at 8:02, the 100 meters at 8:52, and the 200 meters at 9:37.

The hammer throw on Wednesday afternoon can be watched live on ESPN+. The remainder of the track events can we watched live on ESPN2.

Good luck to the Gophers as they close out the 2022-23 athletic season!